LAWRENCE, Kan. Thomas Robinson, the brawny Kansas forward who overcame private tragedy to lead his team to a national runner-up finish this season, is leaving for the NBA.
Robinson made the formal announcement Monday, with coach Bill Self and 9-year-old sister Jayla by his side.
Robinson, the 1st unanimous first-team All-American because Blake Griffin, led the Jayhawks to the national championship game against Kentucky, where they lost 67-59. He averaged 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 31.8 minutes in his junior season and led the nation with 27 double-doubles.
”Coming to college as a basketball player should be a target, it absolutely was 1 for me,” Robinson mentioned. ”Besides that, not winning the championship, I did anything I wanted to do plus much more. I felt like I got as well significantly really like for it and not even do that a lot. Right after I appear back at it, like coach was telling me during the season, I had no time to think about what I accomplished. It was a great encounter. I wouldn’t trade it in for something.”
Coach Bill Self joked that he believed Robinson known as everyone with each other to announce he was coming back.
”In all honesty, I knew this was going to occur since last summer,” Self mentioned. ”I’ve mentioned publically numerous times that our aim for him was to place him in position exactly where this could possibly be the case.”
Even had Robinson wanted to come back for his senior year, Self stated he would have encouraged him not to.
What lies ahead are practically assuredly NBA riches. The six-foot-9 forward could very well go in the 1st 5 picks of the June draft, which would mean a minimum rookie salary of far more than $ two.eight million.
It would be welcome news for Robinson and Jayla after what they’ve been by way of.
In January 2011, Robinson received a telephone call from his young sister, who told him that their mother had died of a heart attack in his hometown of Washington, D.C. The two had been raised by their single mother, Lisa Robinson. In a span of 3 weeks, they had also lost their grandfather and grandmother, and Robinson’s father had by no means truly been involved in his life.
The plan has been a thing of a surrogate household. They helped raise cash to cover some of the funeral expenditures, and to set up a scholarship fund to cover Jayla’s college education.
Robinson said it will be hard leaving Kansas — his teammates, the coaching staff, the fans and the town. He does strategy on coming back to obtain his degree. Robinson doesn’t have several credit hours left and finishing his degree is something that his mother would want him to do.
He had thoughts about leaving right after his sophomore season, which would have been a error.
”I wouldn’t have been prepared at all, I would have been eaten alive,” Robinson mentioned. ”Coming back, this may have been a single of my toughest years mentally and physically – I was playing a lot a lot more this year, there was a lot much more going on – that transformation helped me mature.”
Kansas will have a hard time replacing Robinson’s output. He raised his scoring average by far more than ten points, his rebounding average by far more than 5 rebounds whilst becoming on the court for twice as lengthy compared with his sophomore season.
”There was a huge void when Marcus and Markieff (Morris) left,” Self mentioned. ”There was a void when Cole (Aldrich) and Sherron (Collins) left. There was a void when Brandon (Rush), Mario (Chalmers), Julian (Wright), Shady (Darrell Arthur) and all those guys left. There’s usually going to be a void. We’re not going to replace 18 points and 12 rebounds. We’re not going to recruit a freshman that looks like this when he’s 18 years old. We’ll have guys that will grow into being their own separate version of what Thomas can give to us. We’re never ever going to have another him. There’s no purpose to attempt and duplicate it.”
Robinson mentioned he has not yet hired an agent but expects to in the subsequent couple of weeks..
”I hope he would want to be with somebody that would say, ‘Hey, we’re going to put you on a budget, you’re going to reside on it, this is how we’re going to do things,’ and I believe he just thrives in that variety of atmosphere,” Self stated. ”I assume he’ll be a hugely productive NBA player.”
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